Tag: public risk management

ISO 31000 – Risk Management

PRIMO has selected ISO 31000 as one of it’s main frames of thinking in approaching public risks.

The International Organization for Standardization: “Risks affecting organizations can have consequences in terms of economic performance and professional reputation, as well as environmental, safety and societal outcomes. Therefore, managing risk effectively helps organizations to perform well in an environment full of uncertainty.”

ISO 31000:2009

ISO 31000:2009, Risk management – Principles and guidelines, provides principles, framework and a process for managing risk. It can be used by any organization regardless of its size, activity or sector. Using ISO 31000 can help organizations increase the likelihood of achieving objectives, improve the identification of opportunities and threats and effectively allocate and use resources for risk treatment.
However, ISO 31000 cannot be used for certification purposes, but does provide guidance for internal or external audit programmes. Organizations using it can compare their risk management practices with an internationally recognised benchmark, providing sound principles for effective management and corporate governance. >>

The Guardian: Keep it in the ground

18 April 2105, The Guardian

This newspaper launched a campaign focused on moving away from a global economy run on fossil fuels.

Alan Rusbridger: “The argument for a campaign to divest from the world’s most polluting companies is becoming an overwhelming one, on both moral and financial grounds.”

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu puts it: “People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change”. Read more >

Scientist warns: ‘it will still take years to heal’

The Guardian

The lessons of a landmark moment in climate research have not been learned.

It is popularly viewed as one of the greatest environmental success stories of modern times. Exactly 30 years ago, UK scientists announced they had discovered a hole in the ozone layer in the atmosphere above Antarctica.

The hole threatened to spread, allowing increased levels of cancer-causing radiation from the sun to reach the ground. Within a few years of the discovery it was agreed to set up the Montreal Protocol, which banned the manmade chemicals responsible for depleting ozone in the upper atmosphere. Read more >

Nuclear Energy, Risk, and Emotions

 By Prof.dr. Sabine Roeser *

The pictures of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima are in our minds and are updated daily. People from around the world feel compassion for the Japanese, who have had to cope with a triple disaster: earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident. At the moment of writing this piece, it is far from clear how the latter of this apocalyptic triad will end. In the meantime, the debate about nuclear energy has taken an unexpected turn. In the last few years, there was a growing consensus that nuclear energy would be the solution to generate energy without CO2 emissions. The probability of an accident was said to be negligible. However, now that an accident has occurred, many people wonder whether nuclear energy is a really wise option (cf., e.g., Macilwain 2011). Germany immediately shut down several nuclear reactors, and the German Green Party achieved unprecedented results in the local elections due to its anti-nuclear position.

Nevertheless, there seems to be one constant factor in the debate about nuclear energy: proponents call opponents badly informed, emotional, and irrational, using these notions more or less as synonyms. However, such rhetoric denigrates and hinders a real debate about nuclear energy. In addition, it is simply wrong to equate emotions with irrationality, as they can be a source of practical rationality. I will argue that rather than being an obstacle to a meaningful debate about nuclear energy, emotions can be an important source of ethical insight that should be taken seriously.

Often when a new technology is introduced, a typical pattern can be observed: society is alarmed and worried about its risky aspects, whereas experts assure them that the risks are negligible. Policy makers typically respond to this in two ways: either they ignore the emotions of the public or they take them as a reason to prohibit or restrict a technology, as is the case with genetic modification in many European countries. Let me call these responses the technocratic pitfall and the populist pitfall, respectively. Experts and policy makers emphasize that a dialogue with the public is impossible as it is supposedly ill-informed and so emotional about certain risks that they are immune to rational, objective, scientific information. This pattern has occurred in regard to nuclear energy, cloning, genetic modification, carbon capture and storage, and vaccination, to mention just a few of many hotly debated, controversial, technological developments. Stalemates such as these may seem unavoidable. At least as long as we take it for granted that emotions are irrational and impenetrable by rational information. However, there are developments in the psychological and philosophical study of emotions that can shed an entirely new light on these issues.  Read more >

* S. Roeser, Philosophy Department, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands & Philosophy Department, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Jaffalaan 5, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands e-mail: S.Roeser@tudelft.nl

 

Have we sown the seeds of dystopia?

The word dystopia refers to a fictitious place in which everything has gone awry. It is the flip side of utopia, the word coined by Sir Thomas More in his fictional portrayal of a seemingly ideal society. Although such ideas have fascinated novelists ever since More’s musings in the 16th century, there is now reason to fear that we are sowing the seeds of a variety of dystopia which is all too real. Read more >

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